Do You Believe in Magic?
In June 2018, I had lost my grandfather. He was in his nineties, and watching him go from the sweet and happy jiichan to not remembering who I was, was difficult. It was a part of life. I understood that and accepted it.
That September, I had lost my father. He was only 62, and watching the strong, ambitious, goofy man disappear seemed foreign to me. It was the purest love I had ever known. I did not understand it and still have not accepted it.
A week after losing my father, I lost my friend to cancer. He was 28-years-old and was an artist with a creative mind and soul. He chose death with dignity. I had to dig deep within me to understand and wholeheartedly had to accept his choice. I was at peace with it and had accepted it.
So to sum it all up, 2018 was the year that I had all sight of magic. To me, such a thing no longer existed.
My dad was a big believer in the law of attraction and that if you wanted something bad enough, it would deliver. So on the night of his funeral, I thought long, hard, and deep into my soul that I could manifest my dad back. I was so sure it was going to happen and he would magically walk into my room, sit on my bed, and tell me, “I’m here. It’s okay.”
Because that was the magic of the universe — ask and you shall receive. I asked, and with all my heart and soul I sat on my bed and watched that door. He never walked through that door, because the reality was, we laid him to rest that day with a hundred prayers and tears that would seal the vase where his cremated ashes would remain.
With pep talks from friends and family who had lost their parents, they had informed me that this was only the chipping of the iceberg of what would become a lifelong longing and missing. In the CHamoru language, the native tongue of the island my father is from, we would call it mahålang.
2018 was also the first Christmas I had spent alone. My mother was in Japan helping her grieving mother, and between the both of us, I felt that she needed my mother’s company more, and my mother needed to be back home to process her grief. Leading up to Christmas, I isolated myself from everyone and drowned my grief in bottles of wine until one night, I got a visit from my best friend with a Christmas tree.
Somewhere along the way, my family and I stopped putting a tree up altogether. We weren’t festive as my other friends’ families, and a bright Christmas tree was something I didn’t grow up having many memories of. My best friend remembered this. Lugging up a large brown box and a bag packed with ornaments, she made herself home in a little corner and began to assemble. I remember putting this tree up with her as little Azu 🐱 began knocking down the little snow cone ornaments, rolling them across the living room floor.
It was then that I realized that there was magic all along. There is always magic in our relationships with others, especially during the deepest and darkest moments. My best friend had also lost her mother earlier this year and this is also her first Christmas without her.
Mahålang yu’ nu hågu, Dad.